Skip to main content

Finding a rhythm…

I think I have finally found a rhythm for school that works for us – yay!  Of course, now we’re going to hit Purim and Pesach and blow the whole thing out of the water, but I am happy to have hit a bit of a stride nevertheless, after months of false starts.

I have discovered that most of what we cover are “3x” subjects – we need to touch on them briefly three times a week or we both forget and lose continuity.  So what I’ve started doing, for most subjects, is a rotation of two days on, one day “break”, one day on again.

So, for example, the Handwriting Without Tears / Explode the Code combo, which we always do together because I have a theory that it makes her handwriting in ETC neater.  We did it on Sunday, we did it on Monday.  We skipped Tuesday.  We did it again on Wednesday – and done for the week! 

It’s a good feeling, being able to put the books away, knowing we have done ENOUGH for one week.

Another rotation:  Hebrew with Kriyah v’Od, and reading aloud in English:  we did it on Monday and Tuesday, we are doing it again today – and again, now I know we’re done for the week – and again, I love to see those books GONE into the storage boxes!

Yes, we did have a lot of subjects on Monday – I think that’s okay, because it wasn’t all at once, the lessons are ALL very short, and we don’t have anything else going on for Mondays at the moment.

A typical HWT lesson is perhaps 15-20 minutes, but then she races through ETC – two pages, both sides, are only about 10 minutes unless she’s very kvetchy.

Science is a 2x subject:  we covered it on Tuesday and we’ll touch on it again today; we don’t need to do it three times.  And most of our science is either reading (non-fiction or fiction), hands-on activities (colouring, cutting, pasting) or the occasional experiment.  The lessons are longer, but it’s not like it’s an onerous subject, by any means.  Next year, for Elemental Science, there’s a 2-day-a-week rotation that I suspect we’ll end up following.

One exception is math.  We skipped it on Tuesday, but have done it on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and today.   I think we have to keep math as a “4x” subject, because it goes much more smoothly if we visit it every day.  Otherwise, her math brain starts to rust and she feigns ignorance and whines and it takes us 15 minutes just to get back into gear.

I would like to make reading aloud a “5x” subject or more, at least until she’s reading VERY smoothly, but then life gets busy and some days, it just doesn’t happen.  Parsha is a 2x or 3x:  I’m usually happy either way.  If 3x, I like one of the x’s to be a craft or activity – something interactive.

Now that I am thinking this way – which is probably a very obvious way to look at lesson planning, but I am not so swift, I suppose – it is easy to start thinking about how our “expanded” Grade 1 curriculum will fit in with everything else once the time comes.

Grade 1 curriculum additions:

  • Geography – 1x
  • Chumash – 2x (3x?)
  • History – 3x, but much of it is simply reading aloud:  stories, SOTW, etc.
  • Grammar (First Language Lessons) – 3x
  • Spelling (if we add Spelling Workout; I’m still not sure) – 2x
  • Chagim / Dinim (depending on the time of year) – 2x
  • Independent reading – EVERY DAY!!!

Additionally, some of the subjects that are “short” this year will get a bit longer next year.  Others may not.  In the time it takes her to write 5 “f”’s or “h”s this year, she may well be able to carefully copy an entire sentence, once she’s had considerable practice, so I doubt HWT will take much longer at any point.

Anyway, I’m just roughing things out right now, but it is good to know that we just might be able to manage this thing after all…


  1. I just want to say that I find you very inspirational. My husband won't let me homeschool my 2 year old daughter but I still take a lot from your posts. I hope that I can use your ideas to help her learn better even if I am not teaching her the bulk of the time.

  2. Frayda:

    Shh... don't tell your husband, but we're ALL homeschooling. I do plan to send Naomi to school, but iy"h hope to continue homeschooling at the same time. Anything is possible!

  3. Hiya!
    How old are your kids? Just wondering. I'm reading your blog and taking notes over here! I love your curriculum ideas. My boys are 4.5 and 2 and I'm really getting a lot out of this blog!
    Thank you!

  4. My younger 2 are 3.5 and turning 6 this week... :-)

  5. I've been finding it really difficult to get workbook-type things done with the 4.5 year old b/c of the 2 year old. He wants to scribble in everything! b"H we'll get into a rhythm too..


Post a Comment

I love your comments!

Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po

What do we tell our kids about Chabad and “Yechi”?

If I start by saying I really like Chabad, and adore the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, z"l, well... maybe you already know where I'm headed. Naomi Rivka has been asking lately what I think about Chabad.  She asks, in part, because she already knows how I feel.  She already knows I’m bothered, though to her, it’s mostly about “liking” and “not liking.”  I wish things were that simple. Our little neighbourhood in Israel has a significant Chabad presence, and Chabad conducts fairly significant outreach within the community.  Which sounds nice until you realize that this is a religious neighbourhood, closed on Shabbos, where some huge percentage of people are shomer mitzvos.  Sure, it’s mostly religious Zionist, and there are a range of observances, for sure, but we’re pretty much all religious here in some way or another. So at that point, this isn’t outreach but inreach .  Convincing people who are religious to be… what? A lot of Chabad’s efforts here are focused on kids, including a